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Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« Last post by Dincrest on Today at 07:26:43 AM »
Back in bygone gaming eras, losing out on a particular game felt like a slap in the face, because how could I take my business elsewhere when elsewhere didn't exist?  The game industry, particularly the console industry, was more tightly controlled and smaller indie/art-house developers didn't have as many outlets (pretty much PC only.)  The idea of "how do you speak with your wallet if there's nothing to purchase" was absolutely true during earlier gaming generations, but nowadays it's a wide open market.  Or perhaps it's more difficult to speak with your wallet because there's too much out there available for purchase? 

My perspective is that even if I don't get the specific thing I want, the marketplace is so vast that dozens of comparable options exist (or will eventually exist) from companies of all shapes and sizes to scratch my particular itch.  I get that nobody likes being told "no, you can't have it!"  The more you tell people "no, you can't have it" the more people will use whatever means they can to obtain it.  The failure of Prohibition taught us that.  But we live in an era of gaming where even if one party tells us no, there are dozens of others who will tell us yes. 

And thinking about Omega Z, I still don't think its denial by the censors amounts to much in the greater scheme of things, nowadays.  Why cry over the spilled skunky keg beer that is Omega Z when there is whiskey, vodka and other hard liquor flowing over yonder (in the form of dozens of unadulterated X-rated dungeon crawl JRPGs)?  Or if spirits are too strong for you, there are/were/will be several beer, wine, etc. options in the cavalcade of titillating hard-R rated JRPGs.  These offerings currently/will come from several companies of all shapes and sizes.  Even if the more prominent companies don't offer up what you're hankering for, plenty of indie/art-house/doujin creators are/were/will be totally cooking up something.   
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At the end of the day it's such an odd game to talk about. Personally, I'm enjoying the goofiness. For instance, there are moments where you can talk to party members in town, and they ask you questions. Answer correctly and not only will little hearts will pop up, but the character will give you an item. When I answered elf-girl's question correctly, hearts popped up, she blushed, and gave me an item called 'magic nectar'.

I busted a gut, because the item is just a standard mana restorative (albeit a 100% one, further adding to the hilarity).

This doesn't sound hilarious though. This sounds like your typical harem scenario with the "subtle" double-ententes, that's maybe amusing if you haven't seen the other 1001 other exact same scenarios making the exact same "subtle" double-ententes. Hell, noted PS2/3 JRPG series Ar Tonelico not only did the harem scenario but went total ham on it, and compared to that, Shining whatever doesn't even compare. But that and the mediocre/not even Tales of combat are the legs it chose to stand on, and those stubby nobs can only manage to stand up into the crowd. Blending in. Getting lost in a sea of tepid mediocrity.

I forgot about this game between 2014 and 2017, managed to forget about it until its launch a week ago, and I'll probably forget about it in about a month or two, if that.
My point was that it wasn't a 'subtle' double-entente. 'Magic nectar' is a standard item, and it wasn't a date scene -- just a regular conversation. It was just a combination of coincidences that made it amusing. If it was intentional, it wouldn't be funny.

It's similar to how being able to destroy things as a dragon is funny, because I honestly cannot tell if the devs even remotely thought that through. They designed this combat system around breaking enemy's guards for massive damage, and even have multiple characters that you can control for different play-styles, then render it all pointless with the dragon. They limited the dragon by making it go insane after a period of time, but quickly give you the BAND option, which negates that time limit for a different, longer one that also buffs the whole party. The game itself even suggests that you use this strategy, which just further makes me wonder what was going through the dev's heads.

I guess what makes the game work to me is that it's trying so hard to be more, but it keeps getting slipped up by its own stupid mistakes. It has a plot and characters and gameplay that it takes seriously... but doesn't seem aware of how dumb, broken, contradictory, or tread-to-death it is. I mean ffs, the arc for the main character is that he's scared to use the power of the dragon... that you can literally use in every single battle from the start of the game.

It's this complete lack of self-awareness that makes the whole thing funny, at least for me. It's no DmC: Devil May Cry (which is, to quote a friend, "Truly 'The Room' of video-games"), but personally I'm still having enough of a good time to feel like it was worth the cost. Is it a good game? No: I never said that, which is why I wouldn't really recommend it to others unless they've totally exhausted everything else in the genre and are desperately in want for this type of game. Won't stop me from enjoying it my own way though.

Given the lack of an announcement, I doubt there's going to be a Shining Resonance 2, but SEGA is looking at their older IPs, so who knows what the future has for the franchise. I don't think you should ever buy a game solely for the chance that the next one might be better, but seeing as I'm getting a good laugh, discounted price, AND a chance for a localisation of the next -- hopefully better -- Shining game (hopefully Shining Force because for god's sake SEGA, throw those people a bone)? Nah, no regrets.
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At the end of the day it's such an odd game to talk about. Personally, I'm enjoying the goofiness. For instance, there are moments where you can talk to party members in town, and they ask you questions. Answer correctly and not only will little hearts will pop up, but the character will give you an item. When I answered elf-girl's question correctly, hearts popped up, she blushed, and gave me an item called 'magic nectar'.

I busted a gut, because the item is just a standard mana restorative (albeit a 100% one, further adding to the hilarity).

This doesn't sound hilarious though. This sounds like your typical harem scenario with the "subtle" double-ententes, that's maybe amusing if you haven't seen the other 1001 other exact same scenarios making the exact same "subtle" double-ententes. Hell, noted PS2/3 JRPG series Ar Tonelico not only did the harem scenario but went total ham on it, and compared to that, Shining whatever doesn't even compare. But that and the mediocre/not even Tales of combat are the legs it chose to stand on, and those stubby nobs can only manage to stand up into the crowd. Blending in. Getting lost in a sea of tepid mediocrity.

I forgot about this game between 2014 and 2017, managed to forget about it until its launch a week ago, and I'll probably forget about it in about a month or two, if that.
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Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« Last post by Der Jermeister on Yesterday at 10:28:25 PM »
I recently read War Against the Weak by Edwin Black, about the eugenics movement during the first half of the twentieth century in America that spread overseas to countries like Germany. Definitely a good look into an overlooked part of U.S. history.
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Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« Last post by Der Jermeister on Yesterday at 10:26:39 PM »
I finally beat Resonance of Fate. Wasn't great, but something somehow compelled me to put 130 hours into the game.

Still awaiting the next story missions in Kingdom Hearts Union X.

Found another secret gate in Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D.

Have one Divine Beast left in Breath of the Wild.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« Last post by Grainofariver on Yesterday at 09:42:47 PM »
I feel like I'm being made to sound like I'm anti-creativity or anti-competition or something.  I've said repeatedly that competition is healthy...
You said a lot of things, so please don't think I just TLDR'd straight to this: I read your whole post. I just want to hone in on this because I think it might be the source for a lot of confusion.

Maybe you have said that competition is healthy many times elsewhere, but being that I only occasionally pop-up on these boards, I haven't seen those discussions. All I really had to go off of is what you said in the earlier posts, none which brought up creativity, competition, or "If I can't get what I want, I'll create it" until the second-most recent post (which was made while I was typing). I just went off of what you said at the time, and if that wasn't reflective of or was only a part of how you actually felt... sorry, I just don't know you well enough to fill in the blanks.

I said earlier that I don't care about Omega Z on a personal level: only the broader issues of censorship. I believe you should vote with your wallet (which is why I think MonCapitan is right to stop supporting the publisher, even if I don't personally agree with the reasoning), but how can you do so when there's nothing to purchase? Personally I do just that: if a publisher does a good, I make an effort to buy their game (I bought Shining Resonance in-part to support the future release of Shining games in the west). If the game is censored, I buy it used or borrow it from a friend to deny the publisher a sale. That said, with the massive rise in digital distribution, I wonder how much longer that will be a viable solution. When there is no used copy and borrowing from a friend involves taking the whole console, it becomes pretty dang hard to legally play the game while still refusing the purchase.

But that's a conversation for another day, yeah?
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At the end of the day it's such an odd game to talk about. Personally, I'm enjoying the goofiness. For instance, there are moments where you can talk to party members in town, and they ask you questions. Answer correctly and not only will little hearts will pop up, but the character will give you an item. When I answered elf-girl's question correctly, hearts popped up, she blushed, and gave me an item called 'magic nectar'.

I busted a gut, because the item is just a standard mana restorative (albeit a 100% one, further adding to the hilarity).

Combat is another area where the game is competent, but underwhelming. There are special moves and enemies have breaking points that require different timing, so it does have some layers even if you're just gonna be mashing circle most of the time. The biggest win for Shining is that battles don't reminded of Tales. This is much slower paced and not really interested in combos, so it makes for a very different feel. It's more about your stats than your ability to dodge around an enemy. That said, every single boss fight can be easily won by transforming into a dragon and stomping the bejesus out of the enemy. I mean, I can fight level 58 enemies at level 30 with no trouble because it's so dang overpowered (and as of now, there is no 'higher difficulty').

If all of this sounds like 'damning praise'... it is. Even though I don't really get constantly reminded of Tales while playing Shining, I l still feel Tales does everything Shining does better (unless you're into dating your party members). Personally I've played Graces four times, Symphonia/Abyss/Xillia 1 three times, and Vesperia/Xillia 2/Zestiria/Berseria twice. I'm pretty well tapped out on Tales.

Shining Resonance isn't a *bad* game (so far), it's just a mediocre one. I think that would probably be my final opinion: if you're in the mood for this ARPG/JRPG-style hybrid and aren't yet burned out on Tales, go play Tales. If, like me, you've played Tales to death (and think Star Ocean is a depth of frustration and stupid choices), give Shining a try. It might not be the best, but at least it's different.
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ys VIII
« Last post by Mickeymac92 on Yesterday at 08:36:57 PM »
...Guess I'll be getting the PS4 version after all...
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...and meanwhile, I'd rather just save my money and wait for Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition to release, and I might play through either Tales of the Abyss or Tales of Symphonia in the meantime. That just sounds like a more enjoyabe exerience to me than a game that is thoroughly mediocre, predictable - "Just ok" is damning praise at best, IMO...
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Single-Player RPGs / Re: A JRPG About BOOBS!
« Last post by Dincrest on Yesterday at 07:26:43 PM »
But all the fan badgering doesn't do much good if we don't speak with our wallets at the end of the day.  Yeah, we could raise a big stink online about wanting certain kinds of games, but unless we buy them and show the companies there is money to be made then we won't see any more.  The gaming business is just that- a business. 

And I never said I'm happy in a box with only 3 channels to choose from.  I'm just saying that if the 3 channel box isn't giving me what I want, I'll look for my satisfaction somewhere else.  When I was a kid and they were showing reruns of cartoons we already saw, my friends and I would gather up our action figures and other toys and just let our imaginations run wild creating our own adventures, like some random object teleports Optimus Prime to Jabba the Hutt's palace in Tatooine and he fights the Star Wars Rancor.  (Hey, we were around 7 at the time!)

I'm also saying that the gaming biz is at a point where we're no longer in that 3 channel box.  The box has been blown to smithereens and we're now living free in a plentiful land of feast instead of a box of famine.  If one game doesn't make it, there are still dozens like it that will.  I don't have to put all my eggs in one basket.  This even goes for genres that are niche, because the industry knows that the niche markets are loyal buyers.  Plus, thanks to the evolution of the Internet, those niche markets are easier to get to and many smaller devs can bypass the middlemen and just sell direct to consumers.  That's wonderful, because then I can give more of my money to the creators.  I love that there are so many smaller developers out there creating neat stuff.  I've played and reviewed a ton of stuff that flies under the radar. 

With music, I think what mainstream radio and big record labels put out is drivel.  So, I would go to all kinds of local shows and trawl sites like Bandcamp to see what's out there.  I've discovered (and even befriended) some really killer bands by exploring the paths less traveled.  I also played in local bands and we created music we believed in; seeing our musical voice (including songs I had written) resonate with people was profound.  Competition was fierce, though.  We often competed with bands like ours to get gigs.  Sometimes we'd get them, sometimes we wouldn't, but we still kept making our music because we liked doing it.  And the gigs we did get, we played like our asses were on fire.  It's easy for someone to say all punk bands sound the same, but every punk fan has those that they resonate with more than others. 

I feel like there's a LOT being lost in translation in this conversation and everything's getting cloudy with tons of points and arguments that tangent off from the main point.  I kinda forgot what the main point was.  Are we talking about censorship?  Hentai games?  Creating games?  Niche game marketing?  The state of the industry? My overuse and/or inappropriate use of analogies and idioms to the point where they sometimes become malapropisms? 

I feel like I'm being made to sound like I'm anti-creativity or anti-competition or something.  I've said repeatedly that competition is healthy, because it makes developers strive to create quality products to gain market share.  I've also been saying that I value the mentality of "If I can't get what I want, I'll create it."  If the creator wants it, chances are someone else does too.  As a musician, I gladly encourage people to pick up a bass, form a band and write songs/create music.  I say do it, but do it with heart, passion, and sincerity.  I can't ignore the creator-driven trends that have shaped gaming.  Back in the day, companies were content to do bare-bones translations, but Working Designs carved out a niche for themselves by painstakingly crafting high quality localizations (including good voice acting) and players responded to WD's gambit by speaking with their wallets like crazy.  Lunar: SSSC for Playstation (an otherwise standard fare JRPG) made a huge enough splash with its Western release that other companies realized they had to step up their localization game to be relevant in the evolving JRPG consumer market (a very loyal consumer market of consistent buyers.)   And now even the worst localizations today are gold compared to what they were generations ago.  And even little indie games seek out legit voiceover talent rather than just having their drinking buddies read lines.  (I'm an aspiring voiceover artist myself, and the amount of unknown talent out there is staggering.)         


Buuuuuut...
I think my main point, relevant to the thread, is that I don't think Omega Z being denied by the censors (or whatever) is going to hurt the gaming industry or that style of gaming it represents.  Anime porn dungeon crawling JRPGs are a very marketable thing, sites like MangaGamer and JastUSA have several English-language offerings (unadulterated to boot), and they will continue to hawk more of those kinds of games in the future, because there is a lucrative market out there.  I foresee more doujin (fan-made) games being hawked in the future.   
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